Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake Review

Three Dark Crowns marks another Fantasy series that came into the market with me not getting to it immediately.  I’ve heard so many great things about this series, and Kendare Blake’s writing in it.  For me though, it didn’t feel like it met my expectations (maybe the hype?), and left me a little unsure of how I felt about the book.  Honestly, it could be my own mood interfering, but this book didn’t quite get me on board the hype train.

Synopsis:

Three Dark Crowns, or really Three Dark Queens is a YA Fantasy that follows three sisters, or queens (since they aren’t really supposed to acknowledge the blood shared together) as they get closer to a holiday that will start the war between each of them as they fight to become the one queen in the end.  Each of the girls gets their own perspective (as well as some of the characters that are close to them), and we get to go along with them as they try to stay alive and their caretakers try to turn them against one each other.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

This book wasn’t awful for me, it just didn’t hit me with the feels or overwhelming excitement.  One of the things I’m seeing start to trend are multi view point books, unfortunately these are the ones I struggle the most with.  I am really bad about attaching to characters pretty quickly.  There are very few characters that I have a hard time attaching to, they pretty much have to drive me crazy with ridiculous or simply stupid statements for me to not connect.  I like to think I make the author’s job a bit easier on that front, well until we throw multi-view points.  There are a lot of books I’ve read that have done this, and still managed to get me to keep interested, this one though felt like it fell flat for me.  The three main characters are introduced on the first couple pages of their chapters as very different, but then Blake will add in another description and it just seemed like they were all the same person, just with different faces and situations.  I even spoke with someone on Goodreads, and they said they were feeling the same, but it still feels like I’m committing some sin by saying this.  Let me know in the comments if you felt this, or convince me I’m imagining it (I will welcome either!!).

Going outside the POV issue, Blake did a great job laying out the world of the series, the politics definitely coming to the forefront pretty early.  I don’t know why, but the politics are one of the things that can make or break a story for me.  Go too hard core and I feel like I’m back in the real world (let’s not do that, please. really), go too soft and I wonder what happened.  Given that the three political/magic type groups play a critical role in the development of each queen, it felt like she really went into everything that makes them tick, and how each little move by each group throws the other into a tizzy.  I can’t tell you why I enjoy seeing that on tv, or reading it in a book, but I love a good dramatic moment that makes you laugh.

I think for me, it really came down to the fact that I struggled so much at the beginning.  The characters were so similar in that they all on the surface seem strong, beautiful and without fault, but underneath they are all hiding something.  There are a few differences, for one Mirabella actually has powers and isn’t faking it, but it felt like they were all the same trope, just with superficial differences.  As soon as one sounded unique, something would come in to change that, and I just felt like groaning.  Given how much I heard how great this was, it kills me that I didn’t fall in love with this.  I still don’t know if my own emotions/mood messed with this, or if this really did come down to first impressions gone wrong, but this one just wasn’t the one for me.  Even with some plot twists that actually caught me by surprise I can’t get myself on board with picking up the next book in the series.

 

What were your thoughts on this book?  Does it get better, or is it just me with the characters?  Let me know in the comments below!

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